Suggested Summer Listening: If the Hymn Sing is not enough choral music for you this August, I have another piece for you to check out this month: the Choir Concerto by Alfred Schnittke. Schnittke was a Soviet composer of Jewish-German descent, his family moving from Frankfurt to the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic before his birth in 1934. His classical studies began in Vienna in 1946, then the Moscow Conservatory for composition. This Choir Concerto was written in 1985 for mass choir and splits into a whopping 26 parts in the 4th movement. The text is sourced from the Book of Lamentations by Gregory of Narek, a 10th-century Armenian monk and theologian. The repetition of musical motives along with the text combine for a very meditative and chant-like spiritual experience.
Here are recordings by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir:
If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685 meeting ID 82398177624#